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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 6-13
Group Size: 10-30
Estimated Time: 45 minutes

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Resource Goal

Goals: To demonstrate that one of the special features of Yerushalayim was its ability to bring all of the Jews together, an important characteristic for a capital city.


Resource Contents

Together

Topic: Yerushalayim as a capital city being a unifying factor for Jews throughout Israel, especially during the time of the Beit Hamikdash through the mitzvah of Aliyah LaRegel

Goals: To demonstrate that one of the special features of Yerushalayim was its ability to bring all of the Jews together, an important characteristic for a capital city.

Grades 2-3

Story: A Gift for Yerushalayim based on The Book of Legends- adapted and translated by Adina Gordon

In the days of the Beit HaMikdash, there lived in Israel a man called Rabbi Chanina Ben Dosa. He lived in a small village in the hills of Galilee, far, far away from Yerushalayim. He was very poor. Sometimes there was no money for food and Rabbi Chanina and his family would eat only the carob fruit and olives that grew on the trees nearby. Still, Rabbi Chanina and his family were not jealous of anyone. We are lucky to be together. Whatever God has given us is good, they said.

One day, however, before the holiday of Passover, Rabbi Chanina saw his neighbors preparing to go up to Yerushalayim. They chose their finest cows, sheep and fruit as gifts to the Beit HaMikdash. Rabbi Chanina felt sad. I also want to take a gift but I have nothing to bring, he thought.

As he walked along thinking these sad thoughts, he suddenly noticed a stone on the ground. The stone was large and unusual and didnt seem to belong to anyone. I can take this beautiful stone to Yerushalayim, thought Rabbi Chanina in great excitement. Perhaps it can be used in the Beit HaMikdash. But first I must chisel it and fashion it. Then I will bring it as my gift to Yerushalayim.

Rabbi Chanina started working right away. With his tools he chiseled the stone, cleaned it and rubbed it until it was smooth and bright. Then he carved designs into it. Finally he finished. The stone was unusually beautiful. Now I can take it to Yerushalayim, he thought. Rabbi Chanina tried to lift it. He pushed and pulled and pulled and pushed. The stone didnt move. It was too heavy.

I must hire strong workers to carry it for me, he said to himself. He met some farmers on the road. Please help me bring this stone to Yerushalayim, he begged. I will pay you five pennies. It is all the money I have.

That is exactly our fee for carrying the stone, they answered.

We will carry it for you gladly, but you must also help us.

How happy Rabbi Chanina was! He quickly turned to help the workers lift the stone. As he touched the stone, the strangest thing happened: Rabbi Chanina felt himself lifted into the air. The earth rushed away from under his feet, the wind filled his ears, and then quite suddenly he found himself standing at the gates of the Beit HaMikdash with the stone at his side. He turned to pay the workers, but they had disappeared. Has anyone seen the five workers who arrived with me? he asked the passers-by. No one had seen them.

Rabbi Chanina went to the wise men of the city. What should I do with the five pennies I promised to give the workers? he asked. It is clear to us, they answered, that these workers were angels in disguise. They came to help you bring your gift to Yerushalayim. The angels help people who love Yerushalayim. So Rabbi Chanina gave the money to tzedaka instead and thanked God for His great kindness. He left the stone at the entrance of the Beit HaMikdash. The tired pilgrims, coming up to Yerushalayim, were grateful to rest on that stone before entering the Beit HaMikdash.

After the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash the stone disappeared. Some people say that it was used later in building the walls of Yerushalayim, and that if you look carefully, you can find it there.

Sicha: After the story, explain that Jews used to come up to Yerushalayim three times a year to bring their gifts/korbanot. Discuss the idea of bringing a Gift for Yerushalayim, and the different kinds of gifts a person could bring. Rabbi Chanina couldnt afford anything but managed to find something to bring, and it ended up being a gift not only for Yerushalayim but for all the Jewish people who needed a place to rest as well. Also, the gift was so precious that it made it into the walls of Yerushalayim because he brought it with love.

Have them act out the story. If theyre old enough, tell them to change the story and have Rabbi Chanina bestow a different giftwhat would they contribute if they were coming to bring a gift to Yerushalayim?

Grades 4-8

Game: See-Run-Build

**Youre going to need to come prepared with some materials, like building blocks, a paper plate, cup, etc. Bring double of every material.**

Divide the kids into two teams, and then divide each team into three groups. Lets call them the See-ers, the Runners, and the Builders.

On opposite ends of the room, build 2 identical structures out of the materials you brought. Do not let the members of the teams see the structures.

Give each teams See-ers an allotted amount of time to see the structure. They then have to go to the Runners and describe the way the structure was built.

The Runners then run to the Builders group and relay the See-ers description to the Builders who then must attempt to recreate the original structure based on their detailed description.

The team that builds the structure most similar to the original wins. (But the point, of course, isnt really to win - its to have fun.

Note: After the See-ers finish seeing and begin to talk to the runners, take apart the original structure and give the pieces to the Builders, so that theyre ready to build when they get instructions from the Runners.

Sicha (grades 4-6):

There are a few ideas you might want to draw from this interesting game and a good way to start would be to ask the kids what they have learned. Afterwards:

Ø Talk about each persons role in the game. Each group/person had a specific role that was crucial to the teams ultimate goal. To recreate the structure successfully, the team needed each member to actively participate and work together.

Ø Explain that though Israel was divided into different teams they really all had the same goal, to get to Yerushalayim (recreate their structure). Talk about the Jews gathering from lots of different places, and though they were all unique and special in their differences, they united in their common purpose of arriving at Yerushalayim.

Ø Discuss the idea of different kinds of Jews: Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Chassidish, Ethiopian, Teimani, American - even Conservative and Reform- and ask the kids what they have in common with Jews unlike themselves. Hopefully, one thing thatll come up with is Israel, and specifically Yerushalayim. Ask if any of them had experiences with Jews unlike themselves (a family simcha, davening at the kotel, in school), and point out that Yerushalayim is one of the things that brings all Jews together, and will do so even more when it is rebuilt with the Beit HaMikdash.



Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Eretz Yisrael > Places in Israel > Jerusalem

» All > Jewish Holidays > Yom Yerushalayim

» All > Am Yisrael > Uniqueness

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